CHD and Fish Consumption

August 12/Cardiovascular Device Liability Week -- According to recent research from the U.S., "Fish consumption has been shown to be inversely associated with CHD, which may be due to n-3 fatty acids. The n-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, are naturally found only in marine sources."

"Dietary intakes of methylmercury from certain fish have been hypothesized to increase the risk of CHD. To investigate the relationship between 30d fish frequency consumption (assessed by FFQ), total blood Hg concentrations and risk markers of CHD in women aged 16-49 years participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2002. Multiple linear regression analyses were used to test 0) the relationships between 30d fish frequency consumption and five CHD risk markers, i.e. HDL. cholesterol (HDL-C), LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, TAG and C-reactive protein (CRP); and (ii) if total blood Hg attenuated any associations between fish consumption and CHD risk markers in non-pregnant, non-diabetic females aged 16-49 years. Total 30d fish frequency consumption was negatively associated with CRP (b= -0.10, 95% CI -0.19, -0.02, P=0.015) and positively associated with HDL-C (b= 1.40, 95% CI 0.31, 2.50, P = 0.014). Adjustment for other risk factors did not significantly attenuate the associations. Despite the collinearity between fish and Hg, there is a protective association between fish intake and CHD risk factors," wrote K.M. Smith and colleagues, University of Maryland (see also Life Sciences).

The researchers concluded, "The levels of DHA + EPA and other nutrients in fish may be adequate to offset the hypothesized risks of heart disease related to ingesting Hg from fish."

Smith and colleagues published their study in Public Health Nutrition ("Relationship Between Fish Intake, n-3 Fatty Acids, Mercury and Risk Markers of CHD [National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2002"]). Public Health Nutrition, 2009;12(8):1261-1269).

For additional information, contact K.M. Smith, University of Maryland, Dept. of Nutrition & Food Science, College Park, MD 20742.

From the August 17, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition